That Old Refrain

The Wall Street Journal had a little something for the pundits on Wall Street from the CEO at FedEx Corp., and his words sounded like an old refrain.

“FedEx Corp. reported an 18% decline in profit for its latest quarter but raised the company’s forecast for the year, saying the courier has become more optimistic about global economic trends.

“‘The global economic picture is increasingly more positive as the recovery continues at a steady pace,’ Chief Executive Fred Smith said in a conference call Thursday. ‘We’re now more bullish about the remainder of the year.’

“Results for FedEx’s fiscal second quarter were hurt by higher maintenance expenses aimed at keeping up with demand, as well as by increased labor costs as the company reinstated some benefits trimmed in the economic downturn. The Memphis, Tenn., company also recorded restructuring costs at its domestic trucking unit.” –

Sounds pretty much like the report issued a year ago by FedEx, doesn’t it? And the year before that, too.

“Global economic trends?” Volumes and profits are down, and so, naturally, prices and rates are increased. That’s how “the recovery continues at a steady pace.” Wait ’till next year. You’ll see.
George Orwell called it “misspeak”, but we know of a more appropriate term.

It’s not just FedEx that’s twisting things, though. The White House is very good at it. As reported in The Journal of Commerce; “President Obama met Wednesday with 20 top executives of major U.S. businesses, including Chairman and CEO Scott Davis and James McNerney, head of Boeing.

“The White House described the Dec. 15 meeting as another in ‘an ongoing dialogue’ with business leaders on how to bolster the sluggish economic recovery and reduce unemployment. It said Obama in this session will discuss with the executives ‘ways to continue to work together to grow the economy, create jobs in the private sector, and invest in American innovation and competitiveness.’

“The meeting is to take place at Blair House, a federal complex across the street from the White House. It comes as Congress is trying to complete action on a landmark package of tax cuts and stimulus spending measures negotiated between Obama and congressional Republican leaders.” –

Two years ago, candidate Obama was assuring us that he knew all about creating jobs and reducing unemployment in this “sluggish economic recovery”, and now he’s asking advice from the guys who are doing the actual laying off? Can’t you just hear what Obama will get from these stalwarts?

“Please, Sir, don’t cut my taxes and don’t give me a few billion in stimulus money.” Yeah, right.